David Hayes is confident Catch A Fire can make her mark in Group races against her own sex this spring after the mare impressed with a first-up win at Moonee Valley.
A winner of the Group Two Angus Armanasco Stakes (1400m) as an autumn three-year-old earlier this year, four-year-old Catch A Fire made her seasonal return in Saturday’s Dr Sheahan Plate (1200m) and came from second last mid-race to win.
Hayes said the Group Two Let’s Elope Stakes (1400m) on September 10 was the next target for Catch A Fire.
“She gave them a start, rounded them up and she was really good,” Hayes said.
“She’s got good form here and I think she’s in for a very good spring.”
Hayes said Catch A Fire showed class between the 600m and 400m as she made a move around the field under jockey Damian Lane to be in a position to hit the lead entering the home straight.
Catch A Fire ($7) held off her rivals to defeat Foreign Affair by a half length with Vibrant Rouge the same margin away third.
Hayes believes Catch A Fire, a sister to Group-winning colt Seaburge, is suited to 1400m mares’ races but is hoping she can stretch out to 1600m of the Group One Myer Classic late in the carnival.